The delivery of Heckler & Koch-designed Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle (SDMR) to the US Air Force (USAF) units has entered the final phase.

USAF Life Cycle Management Centre’s (AFLCMC) Small Arms programme office is responsible for distributing the rifles depending on approved allowances.

The rifles have already been fielded to various USAF units this year.

Around 1,464 SDMRs have been procured by the service to replace traditional M24 Sniper Weapon Systems. The new rifle will also replace the USAF’s M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems rifle.

The M24 sniper weapon system is used by Security Forces Defenders for performing base defence operations in-garrison and in Contingency support.

AFLCMC Small Arms programme office lead Matthew Hamer said: “We’re excited to field this incredible weapon system.

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“Being able to field one solution that can effectively achieve multiple missions epitomises Air Force acquisition strategies and shows Airmen ability to adapt to any situation.”

SDMR is a semi-automatic, 7.62x51mm calibre, multi-role asset and is comparatively lighter in weight than the other 7.62 platforms.

The lightweight SDMRs will allow the para-rescue men and Guardian Angels to avoid carrying 5lb gear with them while conducting various operations.

The rifle can accurately engage targets up to 600m and is used for a range of operations that need combat over-watch with precision-fire capability.

Furthermore, the precision-fire capability of SDMR will also be employed by the technicians of the USAF Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

The technicians will use the rifles to eliminate small munitions in their standoff munition disruption activities.

Earlier in 2020, the AFLCMC’s Gunsmith Shop delivered of a new rifle, Aircrew Self Defense Weapon (GAU-5A), to the USAF.